Police State Neighborhoods


Permission is granted to reprint the following article as long as no changes are made and the byline, copyright information, and the resource box is included. Please let me know if you use this article by sending an email to dje@newedisongazette.com.

Police State Neighborhoods

Copyright © Christmas Eve, 2013 Douglas W Jerving.
All Rights Reserved.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
--The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

The original article was composed on August 17, 2013. My information is based directly on my conversation with the neighbor mentioned in this article. She spoke to me about 12:30 am. I had just come home from work. She was driving around the block, and through the alley. She had no where to go. She was forbidden access to her home by the police.

Last night a neighbor down the block experienced the invasion of her home by criminals. The trespass of her property took place twice in the same night. Different invaders each time. The first was a burglary carried out by small time thieves who knew her. They stole her TV while she was out. They knew she was gone, because they were associates of her adult son, who still lived with her, and he had apparently given them access to the home.

The second invasion was committed by professionals. Without her permission, and without a warrant, the local police declared her home a crime scene and took possession of her home, even going so far as to deny her access to her own domicile. The police would not let her back in to her home because it was declared a crime scene.

What is wrong with this picture? She is the property resident! She owns the property, and her son was a guest in her home. His “friends” took advantage of that relationship for their own nefarious advantage against her. She was, and possibly her son was also, the victim of the crime. Despite the police’ reasonable suspicion of her son because of his association with the suspected burglars, and the fact that he was a resident of her property, the police did not have the authority to commandeer her home. There was no evidence of either his or her involvement in the crime, and there was, therefore, no probable cause for the issuing of a search warrant by a magistrate. The whole event was a violation of their rights to protection from unreasonable search and seizure, and their fourth amendment rights to maintain their persons, papers, houses, and effects from such seizure.

Since when do the police have a right to deny a property owner and resident of that property the right to return to their property without a court order to that effect? It is her home, her sovereign domain until and unless a judge issues a rule based on probable cause. She has exclusive rights to her home until a reason why she should not have such rights be presented to and recognized by a judge. By common law consensus, no police officer has the magistrative authority to issue and thereby carry out such action. The very attempt to do so is a violation of the separation of powers that are the essence of our constitutional government. No where in US law does the State have a right to take control of your property without a search warrant that is issued by a magistrate whose authority is separate from that of the agents of the police action itself. No where in US law, either, is the magistrate allowed to issue such a warrant without “probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” No such evidentiary facts were in place before the assault of my neighbor’s home, since all they had to go on was her call to the police department to report the burglary. (For all they knew, it may not have even been her making the call!) There was therefore no legal authority for the police department to commandeer her home, force her out against her will, and assume authority over her property against her will. This was an attempt by the Milwaukee Police Department to perform an unjustified search and seizure. It was an illegal maneuver against her fourth amendment rights. And it is just another small piece of evidence that now we are living in a police state.

Why does this sort of thing first happen in lower middle-class communities like the one in which I live? I suspect it is because the Statists who control us know that we are marginal. We are on the fringe, the cusp of society. We are easily dispensed with, either because we are poorer, or less educated, or simply because we have succumbed to our own disenfranchisement from the rest of America. The powers that be use our own attitudes against us; there is no fear that we may challenge their boot, because it has been already on our necks so long that we no longer realize we are being suffocated.

Our enslavement has nothing to do with institutionalized racism. That died out in the late 60's and early 70's. This has more to do with economic fascism: the assumption that the lower middle-class neighborhoods are inherently criminal, or are willing to harbor criminal elements. That is patently ridiculous. No one wants to live in a community infested by people whose only goal is to abuse the hard earned gains of honest men and women to support the self-serving lusts of a few gangsters in their neighborhood. Not a one of us in my predominantly Black community feels a need to protect, defend or coddle criminals. Still, most of my neighbors, despite their determination to stop crime in the neighborhood, still have a greater fear and distrust of the institutionalized systems that are supposedly in place to help them. My neighbor's situation is a case in point. Call the cops and you become a suspect, or at the very least you are denied your Constitutional rights for a day or so while they search and seize without a warrant because they know you don't know the law well enough to defend your rights. They know that you don't know! They can get away with it!

So you tell me: If you are trying to be upwardly mobile by working an eight or ten hour day, and maybe a part-time job, plus going to school while raising a couple of kids, and trying to be socially active and a positive influence in your community, why should you be victimized first by the criminals and then by the police? Is that not the essence of a police state? What right, legally, or morally, has the state to usurp your authority over your own house-hold; to deprive you of the right to enter your own property despite its invasion by criminals; to see for yourself, and declare for yourself what has been violated?

Since when do the police have discretional authority separate from the law itself? A discretion allowing them to declare what constitutes a violation of a person's property, and thereby subsume the rights of the actual property owners, and exclude them from their own property while in the process of discovering evidence? Every American citizen should understand that evidence must exist prior to the issuance of a warrant, and without evidence no warrant can be issued. Anything less is a contradiction of the very idea of personal liberty.

Finally, these events are evidence of the police state mentality that is becoming America as quickly as I can write. So long as Americans can excuse these things as marginal issues only occuring in fringe communities where “we” don’t live, the probability remains high that the margin will eventually grow wide enough to encompass us all. But only a few are really listening. No one wants to hear that we, the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave are now a police-state. And it will only get worse unless good men quit doing and saying nothing until it happens to them, at which point it would be to late.

God rest ye merry Gentlemen. May God deliver us from apathy.

Christmas Eve, 2013.


Doug Jerving is the publisher of the NewEdisonGazette.com. You may contact him at dje@newedisongazette.com.


Return to The New Edison Gazette main site.